What Business Licenses and Permits are Needed in Vermont?

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Starting a business in Vermont will mean potentially registering with a number of federal, state and local agencies.  Let’s take a look at common licenses and permits a business will register for in Vermont.

Business License – There is no general state of Vermont business license, however many cities require businesses to be licensed in order to operate. Rules for business registration vary depending on location and what the business does.  Below are a few cities that have licensing requirements. 

Burlington – Business licenses and permits for businesses operating in the City of Burlington can be searched through the Start-up Burlington website.

Rutland Businesses operating as a restaurant, bar deli, or hotel will need to obtain a business license from the Rutland City Clerk.

Employer Identification Number (EIN) – Many businesses will register with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for an EIN or Employer Identification Number.  The EIN is the business equivalent for a Social Security Number for an individual.  Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, Partnerships and Sole Proprietorships with employees will all need to register for one. Sole Proprietorships without employees can use the owner’s Social Security Number. 

There is no cost for an EIN and it only takes a few minutes to get.

Learn how to apply for an EIN.

Vermont Business Tax Account – Most businesses operating in Vermont will need to register for a Business Tax Account through the Vermont Department of Taxes.   This account lets businesses register for a Vermont sales tax permit, meals and room tax and employer withholding tax.

Certificate of Exemption – Businesses purchasing merchandise to resell will usually want to obtain a Vermont Certificate of Exemption (often referred to as a Resale Certificate) in order to not pay sales tax for merchandise that is being resold to customers.

Professional License – A variety of professions in the state are regulated and need to be registered before offering certain services.  A few common professions that require licensing in Vermont include; barbers, athletic trainers, tattoo artists and many more.   Additional information, fees and licensing requirements for professions are available from the Vermont Office of Professional Regulation.

In addition to professional licenses through the Office of Professional Regulation, businesses in a variety of industries such as food establishments, day cares, salvage yards also require licensing.

Trade Name Registration – While not a business license, it’s common for Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships operating under a name that is different from the full name of the owner(s) to register for an Assumed Name (also known as a Doing Business As or DBA) with the Secretary of State.

These are a few of the most common business licenses, but there are way too many licenses and permits in Vermont for us to keep track of. Before starting your business, check with the City Hall, County Clerk, Chamber of Commerce and/or Economic Developer in your area to get more information regarding business licensing.  Additionally, there are companies like IncFile or CorpNet that can do the research to ensure you have the proper federal, state and local licenses.